|I like the simple large M for the logo!|
- Japanese models - f/2.0 or f/2.8 45mm lenses, B- 1/1000 shutter speed.
- USA model - 45mm f/2.8 lens and B, 1-1/500 shutter.
The model that I have must be a Japanese version, since it has:
- 45mm f/2.8 Rokkor, 4 element lens
- Citizen shutter, B, 1-1/1000 sec
- cold shoe with PC connector on lens, m and X-sync
Later models of the A5 have a hot shoe (about 1965-66).
None of the A series cameras have any sort of meter, and therefore, do not need batteries. With it being an all-mechanical camera, you are spared the aging selenium or CdS meters, non-obtainable batteries, and/or electrical problems of the more automated cameras of that time. The Minolta A5 was the last model before the Hi-Matics were introduced in 1962.
This is a nice all-mechanical RF camera with a Citizen between the lens shutter. With its bright viewfinder, easy opperation, and impressive range of shutter speeds, it's a fun camera to take anywhere. No meter? No problem -- sunny-16, external meter, or the Black Cat Exposure Guide.
I find the A5 quite easy to use, and its control layout is simple. The apertures range from f/2.8- f/22, and the 45mm Rokkor lens is sharp! There is an exposure counter on the top deck, and I like the way the rewind lever folds down as to not catch on anything. The self-timer and X or M flash synch are located on the lens barrel. The rings for the shutter speed and aperture are easily turned, and the focus ring has a nice little bump out to rest your thumb on. It has an extremely quiet operation. There is a film speed reminder wheel on the back door of the camera, and a tripod socket and rewind release on the bottom plate. The serial number of my camera is 125061.
Here are some scans from a recent roll of Svema 125 C-41 film that I shot.
I don't know how often the 1/1000 version turns up, but it certainly is a nice camera to shoot with. You can also find a nice review of the A5 at Mike Eckman's excellent site.